Applic­a­tions of Cast­ings

Foundries sup­ply all sec­tors of the mod­ern world, includ­ing the auto­mot­ive, aerospace, power gen­er­a­tion, rail­way, pet­ro­chem­ical, med­ical, defence and mar­ine – in fact all aspects of mod­ern life are depend­ent upon cast­ings, from brake discs to med­ical implants, from mar­ine engines to air­craft tur­bine blades. Here we con­sider some of these sec­tors in detail:

Auto­mot­ive

For the auto­mot­ive industry cast­ings are vital. Given the wide vari­ety of cast­ings they incor­por­ate, pas­sen­ger cars or trucks are incon­ceiv­able without them. Cast com­pon­ents are used not only in engines, driv­etrains and chassis but also in vehicle bod­ies.

Gen­eral Engin­eer­ing

In gen­eral engin­eer­ing in par­tic­u­lar, the entire design of a machine is often dom­in­ated by cast com­pon­ents and relies upon innov­a­tion and advanced tech­no­logy to meet­ing increas­ingly strin­gent require­ments. Co-oper­a­tion between foundries and gen­eral engin­eer­ing com­pan­ies is based on CAD net­works as well as on FEM and sim­u­la­tion meth­ods for optim­ising cast­ings.
Foundries are increas­ingly meet­ing advances in tech­nical devel­op­ment and the demands for energy effi­ciency through light­weight con­struc­tion and the optim­isa­tion of cast com­pon­ents.

Agri­cul­ture Machines

Agri­cul­ture is the back­bone of almost all world eco­nom­ies. But also an agri­cul­tural machine is incom­plete without agri­cul­tural cast­ings. Parts of iron steel and light metals serve as wheels, hubs and brake drums, hydraul­ics, engine and power­train com­pon­ents etc.

Build­ing and Con­struc­tion

The range of products sup­plied by foundries to the build­ing and con­struc­tion industry is very wide and includes:

  • pres­sure and drain­age pipes and spe­cials
  • sewer cast­ings and sur­face boxes
  • cast­ings for radi­at­ors, boil­ers
  • cooker and stove cast­ings
  • san­it­ary cast­ings
  • mal­le­able fit­tings

Elec­trical Engin­eer­ing

Like the mech­an­ical engin­eer­ing industry, elec­trical engin­eer­ing cov­ers a wide range of sub­sect­ors. Cast­ings are used in power gen­er­a­tion equip­ment such as, for example, trans­formers and gen­er­at­ors, as well as in elec­tric motors. They con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of the energy turn­around and sup­port energy effi­ciency in indus­trial plants.

Med­ical Engin­eer­ing

There is hardly a bet­ter example than the use of cast com­pon­ents for the med­ical sec­tor to show how people are dir­ectly helped by cast­ings. Their range of applic­a­tions includes integ­ral parts for com­pu­ter­ised tomo­graphy and scan­ners as well as for cast pros­theses like knee and hip joints and even cast­ings used in the infra­struc­ture of hos­pit­als, such as nodes in hos­pital beds.

Ship Build­ing

Mobil­ity on the high seas, whether it serves to trans­port cargo or pas­sen­gers, is insep­ar­ably linked to cast­ings made by foundries. Foundries pro­duce large engines for ships of all sizes on a large scale and are largely respons­ible for energy effi­ciency on the oceans.

The Aerospace Industry

High-tech at its best: without cast­ings, no plane can lift off and no rocket may move into space. Cast­ings, often pro­duced by the invest­ment cast­ing pro­cess, are to be found in tur­bines and jet engines as well as in the fusel­ages, under­car­riages and interior fit­tings of air­planes.

Energy and Renew­able Energy

Renew­ables without cast­ings is incon­ceiv­able. Cast­ings are used in many aspects of the energy industry such as for pumps and valves for the oil and gas sec­tor, as well as cast nodes for off­shore and on-shore struc­tures, for hubs for wind energy tur­bines, as well cast­ings for wind and wave power applic­a­tions.

Rail­way Engin­eer­ing

The trans­port of pas­sen­gers as well as goods on land depends on the effi­ciency of rail engin­eer­ing in all the regions of the world. To a large extent, it is due to cast­ings that rail trans­port is one of the safest traffic infra­struc­tures to be found any­where. Cast­ings in rail applic­a­tions include motor blocks for elec­tric­ally as well as diesel-powered engines as well as under­car­riage and brake com­pon­ents on a large scale. Rail cross­ings are also cast­ings.

Art

Already in ancient times the great vari­ety of the cast­ing pro­cess was used in art. This accounts for the bronze age until nowadays. Sculptors like Auguste Rodin, Jeff Koons and Tony Cragg are just a few to be named, who have and are using the cast­ing pro­cess for their works.

Min­ing

Cast­ings are indis­pens­able for the min­ing and earth mov­ing industry. Min­ing oper­a­tions require com­plex cast­ings and con­sist­ently pure metals. Cus­tom tailored abra­sion res­ist­ant cast­ings, parts for excav­at­ors, min­ing trucks and crush­ers meet the high require­ments of this import­ant industry.

Steel Industry

Steel pro­duc­tion still is the heart-rate mon­itor of eco­nomic devel­op­ment because steel is sup­plied to the build­ing industry as well as to the motor-vehicle and mech­an­ical-engin­eer­ing com­pan­ies. Cast rolls, for example are abso­lute high-tech products, secur­ing pro­cess sta­bil­ity in steel works around the globe.

General Secretariat
CAEF - The European Foundry Association

Hansaallee 203
40549 Düsseldorf
Germany

tel: +49 (0)211 6871 217
fax: +49 (0)211 6871 40217
e-mail: info@caef.eu

The fol­low­ing sec­tors of the gen­eral-engin­eer­ing industry are par­tic­u­larly cast­ing-intens­ive:

  • driv­etrain tech­no­logy
  • tex­tile machinery
  • sew­ing and cloth­ing machines
  • build­ing & indus­trial fit­tings
  • rub­ber and plastic pro­cessing machines
  • wood­work­ing and wood pro­cessing machines
  • print­ing machines
  • paper-mak­ing and dress­ing machines
  • machine tools
  • com­pressors and vacuum pumps
  • build­ing machinery
  • build­ing mater­ial machinery
  • food pro­cessing and pack­aging machines
  • agri­cul­tural engin­eer­ing
  • smelt­ing and rolling-mill equip­ment
  • foundry machines
  • pumps & valves and hydraulic equip­ment

Foundries serve all sec­tors of the build­ing industry, i.e. build­ing con­struc­tion, civil engin­eer­ing and res­id­en­tial build­ing. The products most deman­ded by the private res­id­en­tial-build­ing sec­tor are cast­ings for radi­at­ors and boil­ers, cooker and stove cast­ings as well as san­it­ary cast­ings. Pipes and mal­le­able fit­tings account for c. 5% of cast­ing sales.

Cast­ings are to be found in many products in daily life, includ­ing cof­fee makers, mobile phones, wash­ing machines etc. Often, they are not vis­ible at first glance. Nev­er­the­less, none of these appli­ances would work at all without cast com­pon­ents.